Unlike some giant multinational companies, these rums have roots.

By Yolanda Evans
May 27, 2021
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bottles of rum on a bar cart
Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Lydia Purcell

The world of rum is still dominated by brands that are owned by multinational corporations, but master distillers and blenders of color, as well as smaller brands like those listed below, are increasingly bringing more diversity to the industry. Here are eight excellent rums that celebrate the wide range of flavors of this complex spirit.

Angostura 1919 ($40)

Angostura is best known for bitters. But its legacy rum, made by longtime master distiller John Georges, has a range of toasty flavors and a spicy finish.

Ten To One ($32)

With Ten To One, founder Marc Farrell set out to tell a pan-Caribbean story, celebrating different distillation methods, different terroirs, and different profiles in a single bottle.

Equiano ($60)

Cofounded by rum ambassador Ian Burrell and named after Nigeria-born abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, this brand is a collaboration between two distilleries on opposite sides of the world; it's the first commercial blend of Caribbean and African rums.

Appleton Estate 8 Year Reserve ($29)

Appleton's Joy Spence was the first woman (and first Black woman) master blender in the spirits industry, not solely the rum world.

Ron Zacapa 23 Centenario ($45)

This dark rum, made under master blender Lorena Vásquez, is full-bodied and rich, as easily sipped on its own as in a cocktail.

Plantation XO 20th Anniversary ($50)

West Indies Rum Distillery master distiller Don Benn collaborates with Plantation (which is in the process of changing its problematic name) on its rums. This is a mature, gently sweet rum with a sophisticated palate.

Tanduay Asian Gold Rum ($24)

This Filipino rum has become popular with drinkers in the United States; it has lingering hints of vanilla and tropical fruits.

Mount Gay Black Barrel ($45)

Crafted by Trudiann Branker, Mount Gay Rum's first woman master blender, this rum gets some of its richness from deeply charred casks.